3 arrested for smuggling sandalwood from Odisha

Gajapati: In what could be just the tip of an iceberg of a major racket, as many as 3 persons, including two from Odisha have been arrested by Andhra Pradesh police for their alleged involvement in smuggling of red sandalwood.

The accused have been identified as Sheik Salim and Ketan Pani of Paralakhemundi and Srinivas Rao of Visakhapatnam.

A senior officer of Melliaputti Police Station, Andhra Pradesh informed that over 200 kg of red sandalwood was being illegally smuggled in a car en route to Vizag from Paralakhemundi of Gajapati district.

The vehicle was intercepted at around 6 AM today and during search, huge cache of red sandalwood logs were recovered from it.

“As the occupants of the car could not produce any valid documents or permit, it is suspected that it could be a case of illegal transportation of sandalwood. We are interrogating the accused to ascertain whether some racket is behind such smuggling or it is the work of only a handful people,” said a police officer.